New city attorney chosen for Champaign | keeping watch

CHAMPAIGN — A lawyer who has worked for the city of Champaign for five years has been chosen to serve as the new city attorney.

Thomas Yu, currently an assistant city attorney, will start in his new position Sept. 12, City Manager Dorothy David announced Tuesday.

Yu replaces Fred Stavins, city attorney for more than four decades, who retired May 20.

Yu has been practicing law for 21 years, and came to work for the city of Champaign in 2017.

He provides legal counsel for such city departments as planning and development, public works, police, human resources and METCAD and for the city Plan Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and METCAD Policy Board, according to David.

Yu’s primary responsibilities as an assistant city attorney have been in the areas of litigation, zoning, subdivisions, public right-of-way, utilities, risk management, insurance and police matters, and he further manages claims, drafts contracts, develops land-use documents and negotiates intergovernmental agreements, David said.

Yu holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a law degree from Northern Illinois University College of Law.

Prior to working for the city, Yu was a senior associate for Thomas, Mamer & Haughey, Champaign, general counsel for Rotec Industries Inc. in Hampshire, senior associate for Jeep & Blazer, Hillside, and assistant state’s attorney for the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“In the history of the city of Champaign, there have only been four city attorneys — Al Tuxhorn, Kurt Froehlich, Dean Sweet and Frederick Stavins,” Yu said. “It is both an honor and a privilege to join this distinguished group and serve as the city’s next city attorney.”

David said Yu has been “an amazing asset” to the city.

“Tom’s extensive legal expertise, comprehensive knowledge of the responsibilities of municipal government and his ability to provide thoughtful

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